Mirror Magazine


The vampire strikes back
This season, the Gothic look is back. But, warns Jo Adams, go easy on the black eyeliner.

Fashion trends are funny things. From season to season, they reflect the extremes of fashion: flippy, light, short and sexy, fresh-faced boudoir versus dark, heavy, long and layered Gothic. I know which camp I'm in, which is surprising for a fashion editor who loves black.

Through my troublesome teens, I never mastered the art of Gothic, even after seeing The Cure in concert, and also a local goth band, Egone and the Worms, on a night where the whole crowd looked like they had been locked in their rooms all their teenage life while having the blood drawn out of them by vampires. I looked like a freak for having a healthy complexion.

It's difficult to take a trend straight from the catwalk and wear it.

Taking one element is always the safer option. That way you can avoid being labelled a fashion victim, or worse, having your friends ask you if you are going to a fancy dress party as Morticia Adams.

This season, Tom Ford at Gucci sent girls tripping down the catwalk in needle-thin 11cm heels and slashed silk skirts. There was lots of black velvet. Eyes were heavy and smoky, and the complexion pale and matt, giving a porcelain feel - all very sexy and vampie.

If you are going to attempt the look, evenings are a better time to wear it (I don't think the local supermarket is quite ready for it).

As Christmas is fast approaching, and the dreaded office parties and work drinks are starting to appear in your diaries, why not make an entrance?

Be careful on the make-up, though, especially if you're not used to wearing dark eyes. Try waterproof mascara, then if you get caught in the rain on the way, you won't arrive looking like the lead singer from Kiss.

Keep your lip colour pale, as you can end up overdoing it.

If, like me, you are an expert in wearing black (there is little else in my wardrobe), go for the whole black outfit. But to look modern, a bit of skin is important: skirts with splits or slash details; tops with cape sleeves dropped slightly off the shoulder; light chiffon fabrics layered over each other.

You can introduce the odd subtle dash of colour by way of a pink bra strap, gold shoes or a coloured clutch bag. You don't want to be labelled a fashion victim - or a bat out of hell - after all.

Dreaming of an unreal Christmas
By Thiruni Kelegama
Pink, purple and blue - they are the colours that you would be able to see just outside the road leading all the way to Odel, and inside too! 'Magical!' says Otara Chandiram, Managing Director of Odel. That is what we wanted to show Odel as this Christmas. That it is all a part of a fantasy!
'Unreal' that is what they call it. "Unreal, because we wanted to project the image that Odel this year would be unreal, unimaginable, and fantastic!" she adds. "Usually we have a theme for Christmas. Last year, we decorated in white, and this year, we decided to go in for something rather bright."

When Otara opened her first retail outlet in 1989, she was no stranger to the world of fashion. Having been a top model, her keen eye for detail and innate sense of style helped Otara to create a company that has taken the Sri Lankan garment industry by storm.

"The first outlet was right at home and then, encouraged, I moved to the then famous ODEL outlet on Dickman's Road," she continues. Clearly, her combination of trendy fashion and right clothing was right. With the increase of customers day by day, they had to move. Or rather, begin to expand.

ODEL was starting to grow - at Liberty Plaza and Majestic City. And then, in 2000, Otara introduced Sri Lankans to ODEL Unlimited.

"I think it is the biggest success so far," she says and she is right; ODEL created a path that many retail outlets wanted to follow. It was different. It had become something more than a store - it was a lifestyle, an image you wore when you walked through the door. Despite a lukewarm economy, ODEL Unlimited definitely made its impact on the local retail scene.

"We have a number of activities in store for our customers this Christmas," continues Otara. "We are doing a goodwill project for the Chitra Lane School for the Special Child. It is called the 'Tree of Joy'. We have identified 200 children in the school and put up their photographs and we are requesting people to buy them a gift ranging from Rs. 250 to 500 from Odel which we would give to them on Christmas Eve.'

Other than that, Odel will also be having their in-house Santa Claus and their Carol Singers. "We will also have a whole new selection of men's, women's and children's clothes coming in very soon for the spring and summer collection of 2003," adds Otara. "A whole new range of accessories, hand bags, and shoes will also be available.

"We understand that shopping at Christmas can be a stressful experience therefore we have also decided to have a customer hotline so that anyone would be able to call us up even at the last moment, and check out the price ranges and even ask for gift ideas. This should be definitely be a stress reliever for many people," continues Otara.

The boutiques within Odel are getting into a Christmas mood. Lush has begun offering Christmas gift packs, and even the closed sushi bar has re-opened for the season. The newly opened ice-cream parlour is also a star attraction.

"But there is more to come!" promises Otara. "A chocolate counter will be opened very soon here. Yes, although Christmas is a time of giving, you might find it difficult to part with these delicious Guchrun chocolates from Belgium!"

With Christmas on its way, Odel certainly has made a head start. A head start with the latest fashions, brilliant decor, and a life style of its own. A lifestyle which is simple, yet extremely elegant.

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